Sunday, July 31, 2011

AIRINC to close Fairhope facility

FAIRHOPE, Ala. - The Fokker AIRINC parts repair facility will close by October, shifting operations to a larger, sister aircraft parts repair facility in LaGrange, Ga. Fokker Technologies said that some of the 55 Fairhope employees could be offered transfers. Frans van de Pol, vice president of component repair, said the parent company continues to wait for its business to recover from the recession. Fokker Services mainly repairs parts for U.S. airlines and other parts suppliers. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 07/29/11)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Contract: Boeing, $32.5M

Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $32,480,252 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification to provide additional aircraft closure redesign. The AAC/EDBK/EDBJ, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/28/11)

Contract: Raytheon, $70M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems Division, Tucson, Ariz. is being awarded a $70,000,000 maximum firm-fixed-price contract to provide Small Diameter Bomb II technical support. AAC/EBMK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/28/11)

F-35C has first catapult launch

LAKEHURST, N.J. - In another first for the new Joint Strike Fighter, an F-35C test aircraft, designated CF-3, was launched by a land-based steam catapult during a test Wednesday in Lakehurst, N.J. The jet was flown by Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert. The F-35C carrier variant of the JSF has larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear that make it different from the Air Force A version or the Marine Corps B variant. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. Initial ship trials are scheduled for 2013. (Source: Naval Air Systems Command, 07/27/11) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the JSF training center.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GE Aviation to open 2nd Mississippi plant

GE Aviation will open a second manufacturing facility in Mississippi, this one in Ellisville in Jones County. GE Aviation, based in Ohio, will invest $56 million in a 300,000-square-foot facility that will make advanced composite components for aircraft engines and systems. It's expected to begin production in 2013, creating about 250 jobs by 2016. GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric, opened a manufacturing facility in Batesville in 2008, which now has 300 workers. (Sources: Leader-Call, Reuters, General Electric via RD magazine, 07/27/11)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Contract: EADS, $10.2M

EADS North American Defense, Arlington, Va., was awarded a $10,166,300 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to provide logistic support coverage for the UH-72A aircraft. Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/25/11)

Cyber security Website launched

The Department of Defense today launched a new website to highlight DoD's unified strategy for cyberspace, announced on July 14. The website helps explain and consolidate DoD's cybersecurity accomplishments and new way forward for military, intelligence and business operations in cyberspace. The site is designed to help users explore the five pillars of DoD’s cyber strategy: treating cyberspace as an operational domain; employing new defense operating concepts; partnering with the public and private sector; building international partnerships; and leveraging talent and innovation. (Source: DoD, 07/25/11) Gulf Coast note: The Gulf Coast has multiple DoD cyber training operations, including Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Corry Station, Fla., and Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Tower work halted

GULFPORT, Miss. - Work has halted on the nearly completed air traffic control tower at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration told contractors to stop work on the nearly $12 million project in Gulfport and others at airports nationwide after Congress failed Friday to pass legislation for the work to continue. The current control tower is handling flights. (Source: Sun Herald, 07/25/11)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Panama City airport wins award

WEST BAY, Fla. - Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has received this year's Florida Department of Transportation Airport Project of the Year Award. The award was handed out at the annual conference of the Florida Airport Council. It recognized the project for its "significant contribution to airport development, sustainability, efficiency, capacity and/or safety," according to the award nomination criteria. The airport near West Bay opened May 23, 2010, to replace the smaller airport in Panama City. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 07/22/11)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Aerospace startup opens at Brookley

MOBILE, Ala. - AeroStar Inc., a startup located at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex, plans to repair and overhaul hydraulic and pneumatic airplane components. The company is led by Greg Guzman, a former sales executive for Fokker Airinc, a components repair firm in Fairhope, Ala. The company wants to employ 10 people by the end of the year. The 8,000 square-foot building that AeroStar renovated on the south end of Michigan Avenue could hold up to 25 employees, Guzman said. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 07/22/11)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Euro Hawk arrives in Germany

MANCHING, Germany - The Euro Hawk unmanned aerial system, built in part in Mississippi, was delivered to the German Bundeswehr Thursday. The signals intelligence aircraft is based on the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk. It took off Wednesday from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for the flight to Manching Air Base. The Euro Hawk will carry a new SIGINT mission system developed by EADS Deutschland, which will be integrated in Manching. Delivery of the first demonstrator to the Bundeswehr is scheduled for mid-2012, with another four systems scheduled tentatively between 2015 and 2017. Euro Hawk is the first international version of the RQ-4, which has been serving the U.S. military for a number of years. The second international version will be NATO’s AGS. (Source: Northrop Grumman via PRNewswire, 07/21/11) Gulf Coast note: The Euro Hawk was built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Second F-35 delivered to Eglin

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Lockheed Martin's second F-35A Lightning II production jet arrived Wednesday at Eglin Air Force Base, less than a week after delivery of the first jet to the base in Northwest Florida. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph T. "OD" Bachmann piloted the aircraft, known as AF-8, arriving at 11:50 a.m. CDT. AF-8 joins AF-9, which Lockheed Martin delivered to the 33rd Fighter Wing last Thursday after a flight from Fort Worth, Texas. The jets will be used for training F-35 pilots and maintainers who are slated to begin course work at the base's new F-35 Integrated Training Center this fall. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 07/20/11)

Shuttle lands safely, era ends

The space shuttle Atlantis landed safely at Florida's Kennedy Space Center early Thursday. The 135th flight marked the end of three decades of service. The shuttle and its four crew members touched down at 5:57 a.m. EDT after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. (Source: Multiple, including NASA press release, 07/21/11) Gulf Coast note: All shuttle main engines were tested at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss.

53rd change of command set

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base will have a change of command Tuesday, July 26. Col. David Hicks will take command of the wing from Col. Michael Gantt at 8:53 a.m. in Hangar 102. The 53rd Wing serves as the focal point for the Combat Air Forces in electronic warfare, armament and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance, and aircrew training devices. The wing is also responsible for operational testing and evaluation of new equipment and systems. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 07/21/11)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Boeing, Airbus share record order

American Airlines is ordering 460 new single-aisle planes from U.S.-based Boeing and Europe's Airbus in a deal valued at more than $38 billion. Fort Worth, Texas-based American plans to acquire 260 of the Airbus A320 and 200 Boeing 737s. The deal includes options and purchase rights for 465 additional planes through 2025. Airbus has not sold new planes to American Airlines in more than two decades. The company retired its last Airbus in 2009. At least one newspaper said Airbus could dust off plans to build a plant in Mobile, Ala., but CEO Tom Enders was noncommittal on that prospect. (Sources: Multiple, including New York Times, BloombergNews Tribune, Hartford Courant, 07/20/11)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Delta cutting 24 markets

Three regional airports in Mississippi - Greenville, Tupelo and Hattiesburg - are among 24 small markets that face losing service from Delta Air Lines. The company said it's lost $14 million a year serving the 24 airports because of insufficient passenger loads. Service to 16 of the 24 airports is subsidized by the federal Essential Air Service program. Weak demand in some markets led to flights occasionally operating with no passengers on board. Greenville has a 27.6 percent load factor, Tupelo 41 percent and Hattiesburg has a 53.7 percent. The Department of Transportation is now looking for alternative carriers. (Source: PRNewswire 07/15/11)

Monday, July 18, 2011

46th schedules change of command

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base will have a change of command Friday, July 22. Col. Colin Miller will take command of the wing from Col. Michael Brewer. Miller has served as an operational pilot in the F-15C and F-117, and as a test pilot in the F-15C, F-15E, F-16, and F-22. Brewer relinquishes command after serving two years with the 46th Test Wing and more than 25 years with the Air Force. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 07/18/11)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Flight Academy gets $250,000 gift

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The University of Florida has pledged $125,000 to the National Flight Academy at Pensacola Naval Air Station, an amount matched by an anonymous Florida Gator booster. The $250,000 will be used for scholarships and tuition to the academy, which is expected to open to students in May 2012. The academy, an educational program of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, will offer week-long sessions to students in seventh through 12th grades. Students will focus on science, technology, engineering and math. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 07/15/11)

Friday, July 15, 2011

StenniSphere to open at noon July 20

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - StenniSphere, the visitor center at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, will delay opening on July 20 due to a special event. The visitor center will open at noon that day. StenniSphere is open to the public 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and is closed on major holidays. Public tours run throughout each day from the Launch Pad at the Hancock County Welcome Center, Interstate 10, Exit 2. The last tour leaves the Launch Pad at 2 p.m. each day. (Source: NASA, 07/15/11)

NASA begins testing J-2X

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA conducted a combined chill test and 1.9-second ignition test Thursday of the next-generation J-2X rocket engine that could help carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit to deep space. The test is the first in a series that will be conducted on the J-2X, which is being developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne. The ignition test on the A-2 Test Stand is the first of a series of firings over the next several months. Collected data will verify the engine functions as designed. The J-2X uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel, which can be mixed to generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to lift a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit or 242,000 pounds of thrust to power a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit into deep space. The engine is designed to start and restart in space. (Source: NASA, 07/14/11)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Contract: Raytheon, $9.1M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz. is being awarded a $9,118,430 contract modification for procurement of 4 Griffin Block II A telemetry rounds, part number 2292000-25, and 74 Griffin Block II A all up rounds (Part Number 2292000-26) to include shipping, engineering services, and proposal development costs. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/14/11)

Eglin reaches out to industry

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Air Force simulation experts are reaching out to industry to find companies able to develop simulations to help the Air Force evaluate concepts for new weapons. The Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base issued a sources-sought notice Tuesday for the Technology Research for Integrated Guidance Simulation (TRIGS) program. The Air Force is asking for research ideas and capabilities in hardware-in-the-loop simulation development, weapon engagement research, hardware-in-the-loop simulator technology development, and virtual environment phenomenology modeling. The Air Force expects to negotiate one five-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity research contract for the TRIGS weapons simulation program worth about $45 million. (Source: Military and Aerospace Electronics, 07/14/11)

F-35 arrives at Eglin

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The first F-35 Lightning II that will be used by the Integrated Training Center landed at Eglin Air Force Base today at 1:15 p.m. It took off earlier in the day from Fort Worth, Texas, for the 90-minute flight. The plane, known as AF-9, is a conventional takeoff and landing version of the fifth generation fighter. It's one of six that will be coming to the base in coming months. Eventually, Eglin will have 59 of the Lockheed Martin-built jets. They’ll be used by the 33rd Fighter Wing to train pilots and maintainers from all branches of the military, as well as allied nations. The Eglin plane is the third production model delivered to the Air Force. The first two are assigned to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Source: Tcp, 07/14/11) Press release

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eglin ADC's DOD installation of year

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., was named Department of Defense Installation of the Year by the Association of Defense Communities. According to ADC, Eglin has forged partnerships with local governments and nonprofits to protect natural resources, enhance wildlife corridors and expand opportunities for biodiversity, while at the same time preserving its mission. As home to 19 federal and 95 state listed, rare or local endemic species, Eglin places a high priority on conserving its natural resources. The base occupies much of the Florida panhandle, controls 120,000 square miles of airspace over the Florida Gulf and provides a unique atmosphere for threatened and endangered species. The Defense Community Awards lunch is at the ADC 2011 Annual Conference in Norfolk on Tuesday, July 19. (Source: ADC, 07/13/11)

Nodjomian: Eglin future bright

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The commander of the 96th Air Base Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., reflects on his first year heading up the wing that provides support for the Air Force's largest base. "Eglin has an extremely bright future," said Col. Sal Nodjomian. "We will continue to integrate research, developmental and operational test, training and many other significant mission sets at Eglin." (Source: Team Eglin Public Affairs, 07/13/11)

Command change set for July 21

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Brig. Gen. Leonard Patrick, current commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, will become the new leader of the 2nd Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base during a change of command July 21. Patrick replaces Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog, who is going to the Pentagon to direct the Sexual Assault and Response Office for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (Source: 81st Training Wing, 07/11/11)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two schools launch aerospace program

Pre-engineering students at two high schools in Baldwin County, Ala., will get a chance to participate in a new aerospace curriculum this fall. Baldwin County High School and Foley High School are among four schools in Alabama to offer courses as part of the "Preparation for Tomorrow" aerospace engineering pilot program. The Alabama Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education section and the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board last fall designed the aerospace curriculum to prepare high school students for aerospace technology and engineering careers. Alabama is among the first states selected to participate in the initiative. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 07/08/11)

Monday, July 4, 2011

F-35s to arrive at Eglin "shortly"

Eglin Air Force Base's first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters have completed test flights and are in their final review to be accepted by the Department of Defense. Representatives from Lockheed Martin said last month that the first F-35s would arrive in June. They now say AF-8 and AF-9, the Florida base's first two JSFs, will "arrive shortly" but provided no time frame. Lockheed Martin is expected to deliver six F-35s to Eglin this fiscal year. The other four jets are in various stages of development, including some still on the production line. Lockheed Martin plans a ceremony for sometime in August after the first jets arrive. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 07/03/11)